Purpose: To proclaim and celebrate American Forest Week
Date: March 3, 1926
In again proclaiming American Forest Week it is fitting that, while giving full weight to the evils resulting from impoverished forests and idle land, I should lay stress upon the outward spread of forestry in industrial practice and land usage. Too long have we as a nation consumed our forest wealth without adequate provision for its wise utilization and renewal. But a gratifying change is taking place in the attitude of our industries, our landowners, and the American people toward our forests.
The wise use of land is one of the main foundations of sound national economy. It is the corner stone of national thrift. The waste or misuse of natural resources cuts away the groundwork on which national prosperity is built. If we are to flourish, as a people and as individuals, we must neither wastefully hoard nor wastefully exploit, but skillfully employ and renew the resources that nature has entrusted to us. America’s forest problem essentially is a problem involving the wise use of land that can and should produce crops of timber.
Flourishing woodlands, however, mean more than timber crops, permanent industries, and an adequate supply of wood. They minister to our need for outdoor recreation; they preserve animal and bird life; they protect and beautify our hillsides and feed our streams; they preserve the inspiring natural environment which has contributed so much to American character.
Although our national progress in forestry has been well begun, much remains to be done through both concerted and individual effort. We must stamp out the forest fires which still annually sweep many wooded areas, destroying timber the nation can ill afford to lose and killing young growth needed to constitute the forests of the future. Forest fires, caused largely by human indifference or carelessness, are the greatest single obstacle to reforestation and effective forest management.
We must encourage and extend methods of timber cutting which perpetuate the forest while harvesting its products. We must plant trees in abundance on idle land where they can profitably be grown. We must examine taxation practices that may form economic barriers to timber culture. We must encourage the extension of forest ownership on the part of municipalities, counties, States, and the Federal Government. And we must take common counsel in public meetings to the end that the forestry problems of each region may be well considered and adequately met.
Now, therefore, I, Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week of April 18–24, inclusive, 1926, as American Forest Week; and I recommend to the Governors of the various States that they also designate the week of April 18–24 as American Forest Week and observe Arbor Day within that week wherever practicable and not in conflict with law or accepted custom. And I urge public officials, public and business organizations, industrial leaders, landowners, editors, educators, clergymen, and all patriotic citizens to unite in the common task of forest conservation and renewal.
The action of the Canadian Government in likewise proclaiming the week of April 18–24, inclusive, as a period when the utmost stress shall be laid upon the problems of forest conservation and renewal, thus unifying the respective efforts of Canada and the United States, is an added reason why our citizens should give careful thought to a matter so important to both countries.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this third day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and twenty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fiftieth.
Citation: The Statutes at Large of the United States of America from December 1925 to March 1927
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Craig Eyermann who prepared this document for digital publication.